Curtis Counce Group Volume 2 (Counce’s bounce) 1957

Track selection: “How Deep is the Ocean


  Curtis Counce (b) Jack Sheldon (t) Frank Butler (d) Carl Perkins (p) Harold Land (ts) Recorded Contemporary Studios, Los Angeles, Recorded October 1956 – September 1957. Engineer Roy DuNann.


Harold Land is at his best on this classic ballad, holding down the classic melody in long notes while darting off at every opportunity with lightning fast figures. Jack Sheldon likewise maintains the pace, with Counce, Perkins and Butler as one.

In his liner notes, Nat Hentoff puts his finger on the significance of the Counce Group. After nearly a decade of “accompanied solo” jazz innovators (Bird, Dizzy, Miles)  we find the “group” as the focus of the performance rather than the soloist. The era of small group improvisation had finally arrived.

Vinyl: LAC12133 UK 1st press Vogue Records of  Contemporary  C3539

“Oh Doctor”!  The ecstatic go-go girl looks like artwork left over from another brief, decided after one very dry LA martini too many. Putting “girls” on record covers  is usually a sign of desperation in the marketing department. “Who’s going to buy this record, guys? God knows. The “aspiring playboy bachelor” demographic? (meaning themselves). Perhaps it’s intended to be ironic, though 1957 is a little early for “retro” design. Pre-post modern, anyone?

“Nice pad. Freshen your Martini”?

8 thoughts on “Curtis Counce Group Volume 2 (Counce’s bounce) 1957

  1. Nice music. I am not sure if the cover is image erotic or scary, she looks completely mad. Check out here eyes… The music deserves better.

  2. Yes, favorite cover ever. I’m going with not ironic–I think they just wanted to put a hot woman on the cover.
    The music is great too. I have this title set aside as well for the blog.

  3. Great, great record musically and……a super cover too. I think Matty’s comment is spot on. This is an expensive original LP because of the cover and I do not own it on LP just a compilation CD from Spain. Grrrr!

  4. Did you know that there are collectors that look for one thing and one thing only: covers like these. No interest in the music, no, they just collect ‘sexy’ girl covers. I mean, how ’bout this? Anyway, this Curtis Counce album is new to me. How Deep Is The Ocean is an absolute joy to listen to.

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